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Canfield board will seek public’s input

Published: Wed, July 11, 2012 @ 12:03 a.m.

By Elise Franco



Canfield Board of Education members agreed that they need to open lines of communication with residents before asking them to support another levy.

Instead of placing a levy on the November ballot, the board decided during a special meeting Tuesday to spend the next six to 12 months gathering feedback and discussing what voters want when it comes to the school district and a potential levy.

Voters rejected 6.8-mill operating levies in November 2010 and May 2011 and a 4.9-mill operating levy in November 2011.

Superintendent Dante Zambrini said the district’s operating budget is balanced through 2015 due to cuts in staff and programs, as well as wage freezes over the past two years. He said this buys the district some time before it needs to ask voters for money.

“Programs and services were cut, but they’re not devastating,” he said. “By taking those actions, we’re able to have the resources in place to not be in an emergency situation.”

District Treasurer Patricia Kesner said they’ll likely revisit the possibility of a levy sometime in 2013.

Incoming Superintendent Alex Geordan, who will assume Zambrini’s post in August, said the most important thing for the board to do now is to communicate with voters.

“How have we put an olive branch out to the community to show them what we’ve done since the last [levy?]” Geordan asked. “We need to make people more aware of the situation and listen to their ideas and input.”

Geordan said the percentage of voters supporting each previous levy attempt hasn’t changed, which means the board needs to figure out why others are consistently voting no.

“Sometimes it’s a ‘no means no’ attitude, and they need change before they’ll pass an issue,” he said.

The first way the administration and board plans to collect community input is through a survey that will be mailed to all residents of Canfield City and Township.

Geordan said the survey likely will be mailed in August along with the district’s annual report. He said data from the surveys would be collected by an agency outside the district, and all of the results would be presented to residents in a public forum, highlighting every issue, positive or negative, touched on in the surveys.

“It’s one way to ask our people what they want out of their schools,” Geordan said.


1Knightcap(693 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Has the idea of paying 15% to 23% of your health-care benefits crossed your mind? This would be a good start and a majority of the Canfield taxpayers agree.

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2youngstown615(97 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

To start with, Superintendent Zambrini was being paid over $103,000 per year. This is much higher then many of the other "local" Superintendents make. They say it is lower then Cleveland & Columbus salaries for this position......We are in the " YOUNGSTOWN" area, not the same as the larger cities.

Secondly, why does the Superintendent in Canfield need a " Business manager??" Why was the newly hired Suprerintendent ( Alex Geordan ) given a $2000 ( $105,000 ) raise to start ?? " Because he was so well qualified" He hasn't even started the job yet ??!! He MAY be good, but why not wait & see.

You have made wage cuts, put in place "pay to play" cut many classes, cut bus service for High School, etc; but stated that even if a levy is passed, none of these services will be put back in place. My question to the school board..... ....."Why SHOULD we vote for the levy???"

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3paulparks(235 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Roll back the 10% wage increases of the last 3 years - to start.

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4highpoint(34 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Oh, Not Again!? Every time a levy fails, it's back to public meetings and community involvement. Comments, please! Then, yes,yes,yes... until it passes. Then back to business as usual. Over the years, i have seen the same question asked, " Wasn"t using property taxes to fund the schools declared unconstitutional?" And every time the answer was yes, and a commitment to pressure Columbus to come up with alternative funding methods was assured. This has been for going on for almost 20 years. And has resulted in this situation not just in Canfield, but throughout the region and state. If Canfield had kept its commitment under Supt. Watkins to aggressively push the legislators to better fund our public schools, we wouldn't be here today. Now, I say, go with vouchers and give the public a choice.

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5nipsy(133 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

To start with lets try being honest with the voters. A few years back we were told that the teachers took a 1% pay cut ( I then found out that the truth was that they got a 3% raise, then gave back 1%) ...That lie, or distortion of the truth, cost you my vote....Now, I will not support a new levy because of the way the superintendent hiring was handled. To hire a new, young, relatively inexperienced superintendent for $2,000.00 more than the guy retiring just doesn't make any sense at all....

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